York City Council approves plans for Phase II of public housing replacement project

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York Housing Authority will soon begin demolition followed by the rebuilding of public housing units in the area of West College and Brooklyn Avenues in York City, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Reconstruction of new public housing will follow. Dawn J. Sagert photo

A project to rebuild decaying public housing units in York City is one step closer to getting underway after the city council on Wednesday unanimously approved engineering plans.

Members approved both subdivision and land development plans for the $16 million Thackston Park Phase II project, which would replace 32 units in the area of West College Avenue and South Penn Street with 50 new multi-bedroom units. 

The plans were created by York City-based First Capital Engineering.

“(The project) provides safe living quarters for people who are at poverty or below poverty, or at least a percentage of poverty,” said City Council President Henry Nixon. “This provides housing to all of our people.”

More:Phase II of York City public housing replacement project slated for 2020

First Capital Engineering's subdivision plan consolidated different pieces of land in the area into a single tract, said President John Luciani.

Plans for the Thackston Park Phase II project, which would replace 32 units in the area of West College Avenue and South Penn Street in York City with 50 new multi-bedroom units.

In addition, the land development plan outlined demolition work, the construction of new buildings and landscaping, he said.

Now that the plans have been approved, the York Housing Authority can complete the bidding process before demolition and construction begin, Luciani said.

Regina Mitchell, executive director of the York Housing Authority, was not available for comment. Therefore, it is unclear how soon the project will move forward or if there is an anticipated completion date.

The current homes, known as The Codorus Homes, were built in the 1950s. The new housing units will have between three and five bedrooms each.

The project will be funded primarily through federal low income housing tax credits, which also will fund off-street parking, a community center and recreational space along the Codorus Creek.

Current residents will be prioritized in the application process once the revitalization is completed — while also receiving housing vouchers — and those who don't wish to come back could be relocated to other public housing in the county, Mitchell has said in the past.

A digital rendering of the Thackston Park Phase II project, which would replace 32 units in the area of West College Avenue and South Penn Street in York City with 50 new multi-bedroom units.

When The York Dispatch first reported on the project in 2019, residents in the area had mixed feelings about what would be done to the neighborhood.

One woman described some units as roach-infested with deteriorating appliances. She also said she wouldn't be returning to the neighborhood because of crime. 

Others, however, said they'd lived in the area for decades and didn't want the units to be torn down because of sentimental value.

The project, although larger, is similar to the first phase that was completed in 2013 at the Homes at Thackston Park. That provided 39 new units along with parking, community space and maintenance for a total of $12 million.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.